Mount Washington — A week into October, yellow and red dapples appeared throughout the expanse of green canopy that breathes all around us during the warm seasons in the Berkshire Hills. By mid-month, leaf-turn had climbed the forested heights in a continuum of red oak’s soft russet brushstrokes intermingled with golden sugar maple and deep evergreen. At lower elevations, lush red and sugar maple crowns had already been ignited to vermillion, yellow and orange. The blue sky above was made for optimum complement. Spirits were high the week of the 6th. Everyone I met exuded excitement, buoyancy, unfettered exuberance. A brilliant charge pervaded the world. We were bathed in the light and warmth of the Sun. We were deeply experiencing the turning point in the season. We were immersed in and witnessing one of Earth’s great wonders.
Fresh harvested fennel, scallion and apple saute, Oct. 15, 2019. Photo: Judy Isacoff
I am writing before the predicted frost then freeze over the weekend of the 19th.
In the hill towns, all tender plants sailed through last month’s light
frost on Sept. 19. Two weeks later, on the late afternoon of Oct. 4,
anticipating a killing frost, I harvested tomatoes, peppers and
cucumbers that were too sprawling to cover. Barrels fit over fennel
plants and old quilted mattress covers over more peppers and fennel. The
thermometer read 30 degrees next morning and, in addition to the limp
yacon plants that were groomed for Halloween, my windshield was covered
with a sheet of ice.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, FRIENDS. See Killing Frost & Company march through the garden. Photo: Judy Isacoff
Every day I eat from the garden basket (see photos) and more crops harvested on the 4th.
Heirloom red and yellow Brandywine and striped German table tomatoes
and San Marzano plum tomatoes continue to ripen in a cool room. They
retain luscious, fresh-picked flavor, the former a favorite layer on
sandwiches. Scarlet, orange and chocolate peppers, stored in the
refrigerator crisper at 38 degrees, are still firm, although I will soon
slice and saute them briefly before storing in the freezer. Yesterday
the last lemon cucumbers decorated a fresh salad. I have pickled green
beans, cucumbers and damaged green tomatoes.
Open-face lettuce and tomato sandwich. Brandywine tomato with Rouge Metis cover. Photo: Judy Isacoff
In advance of threatening frosts, I will harvest, reluctantly, all
fennel and the robust green peppers that, given more warmth, would
mature to their rainbow hues. These are the only tender crops remaining
in my garden. Red cabbage will come in, too. A gorgeous late planting of
Turtle Tree Seed lettuce mix and Asian greens — both include Rouge
Metis mustard — will thrive for awhile, covered on freezing nights.
Rouge Metis’ subtle, spicy overtones are one of my favorite salad
Fresh from the frost-hardy autumn garden: sliced and chopped leek, carrot, Tokyo Market Turnip. Photo: Judy Isacoff
Now I leave you, dear reader, to heed the last call for sowing garlic and winter rye.
From 10am – 3pm on Saturday, May 25th we will be selling plant starts just waiting for your garden! Tons of tomatoes, peppers sweet and hot, squash, melons, watermelons, okra, flowers, physalis, tomatillos, ground cherries, cucumbers, and herbs!
Also, we’ll have a selection of seeds for May and June sowing–beans, corn, squash, and more.
Join us outside the lovely newly renovated Camphill Village Green Coffee Shop and Gift Shop. Stop in for awesome coffee, our famous cookies, breads, soups & salads or to browse the fine crafts made here in Camphill Village!)
Directions to the Plant Sale at Camphill are in the post below…
Plant Sale at Camphill Village! – Saturday, April 27th
Come visit us and browse seedlings and plant starts for many different kales, cabbages, broccoli, asian greens, lettuces, and more! You also have the opportunity to browse our full selection of over 380 vegetable, herb, flower and farm seed varieties, ask gardening questions, and chat with Lia and Ian about your garden plans. Books and T-shirts will also be for sale. Special plant sale pricing on seeds!
Click on the map description below for directions. Please keep in mind that we’re actually all the way up the hill–Google puts our address point a bit before you actually get to us. Just keep going–we’re there!
Save the date! Our 2nd plant sale of the season will be on Saturday, May 25th. Tomatoes, peppers, physalis, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, melons, flowers, herbs and more!